Graham Nash Slams RFK Jr. for Using His Song in Anti-Vax Rally Video

Cambridge Folk Festival 2019 - Show - Credit: Getty Images
Cambridge Folk Festival 2019 - Show - Credit: Getty Images

Graham Nash has slammed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for using his song “Chicago” in a promotional video for the anti-vax rally set for Washington, D.C. on Sunday.

The CSNY legend took to Instagram Saturday to inform fans that RFK Jr.’s use of the 1971 song — also known as “We Can Change the World” — was “not authorized” and that Nash has begun “taking steps to cause the cessation of its use.” Nash’s manager Mark Spector told Rolling Stone Saturday, “A cease-and-desist letter is in the works.”

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“I do not support his anti-vaccination position as the history of the efficacy of the Covid19 vaccines is well documented,” Nash added. “When I wrote ‘We Can Change the World’ I did not expect that an institution such as this one that claims that it fights for individuals’ freedoms would so readily and recklessly infringe upon and, by its association with its cause, mischaracterize the intellectual property rights of a songwriter for its own purposes.”

An interpolation of “Chicago” features in the promotional video on the Children’s Health Defense site; Nash’s chorus – featuring the line “We can change the world” – is distinctly heard in another song titled “Heart of Freedom,” which claims that the lyrics were penned by RFK Jr., erasing Nash’s authorship. (“Heart of Freedom” was also apparently produced by Dicky Barrett, lead singer of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. A rep for that band did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.) RFK Jr.’s song does not appear on YouTube, as he’s been banned from that platform, but he did post it on Twitter:

Noted anti-vaxxer, “Disinformation Dozen” member and Eric Clapton pal Robert Kennedy Jr. — through his Children’s Health Defense — will stage a D.C. march Sunday from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial; RFK Jr. is also expected to speak at the rally, where attendees will “stand united to protest all government mandates.”

On Instagram, Nash reiterated that his own beliefs in no way intersect with that of the anti-vaxx community. “I believe in science and facts, and do not support such blatant disregard for either, nor for my rights as a musician,” he wrote.

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